‘Yeah, I Killed Somebody: Indiana Man Confessed to Strangling Mother After He Refused to Clean His Room or Get a Job

The horrific demise of a beloved college administrator shocked her loved ones and colleagues at Loyola University Chicago. Even more shocking is who authorities believe is behind the vicious attack on Shanelle Burns.

Her then 19-year-old son, Conner Kobold, allegedly admitted to murdering his mom when police arrived at the family home in the quiet suburban enclave of Valparaiso, Indiana, on Feb. 5.

That same day, Burns had filed an eviction notice on Kobold, requiring that he clean his room, help clean the common areas of the home they shared, and find a job within 30 days or be thrown out of the house, the Post-Tribune reported. He’s accused of viciously strangling her in retaliation.

Indiana Man Confesses to Strangling His Mother After She Filed Eviction Notice Because He Refused to Clean His Room and Get a Job
Conner Kobold is accused of killing in mother at their Valparaiso, Indiana, home. (Photo: Porter County Jail)

On the afternoon of Feb. 5, Kobold called 911 five times, and when police arrived, he asked to be handcuffed and detained in the back of the squad car, recently released court documents show. He allegedly told an officer that “there is a dead person inside of the house on the corner,” and when asked to clarify, he replied, “Yeah, I killed somebody in that house,” WGN 9 reported. The officer noticed that Kobold had superficial scratch marks on his face.

When first responders discovered Burns in the family home, she was unconscious, not breathing, and had sustained “serious injuries” that were of “grave danger,” according to the police, who were unable to locate her pulse. Small ligature marks were found on her neck, and furniture was moved around as if there had been a struggle. After she was rushed to the hospital, doctors told police they believed Burns had suffered “substantial brain damage” before she died, local news reported.

Her death was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation secondary to manual strangulation, and Kobold was charged with aggravated battery and murder. He pleaded not guilty and reportedly filed a waiver in February to represent himself without an attorney. Recent court documents show, however, that he was appointed a public defender in April. He is currently being held at Porter County Jail without bond.

According to his LinkedIn account, Kobold is a former student at an elite private boarding school in Indiana that charges $65,000 yearly tuition and was working toward a Bachelor of Science at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. His photo depicts a smiling young man in white gloves and a uniform.

Burns was an assistant vice president in advancement at Loyola University in Chicago and leaves behind a husband and two stepdaughters, in addition to Kobold. Her obituary described her as “tenacious, kind, generous and beautiful,” but above all, dedicated to her son.

“If you were to ask Shanelle’s friends what mattered most to her, you would get a universal response: her son. Shanelle worked tirelessly to build an enviable life for the two of them, ensuring he had every opportunity to succeed. She took great pride in being a mother and poured all her resources into building a supportive and loving environment.”

Kobold’s trial is set to commence this summer, with his next court appearance scheduled for August.

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